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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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Stony Brook men’s lacrosse drops overtime heartbreaker to Providence

Attackman Nick Dupuis (15) passes to the ball to defensive midfielder Ben Morschauser (31) against Hampton on Saturday, March 2. Dupuis had five assists and nine total points against Providence on Saturday. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

Though it rallied back from a big, early deficit, the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team failed to complete the comeback once it reached sudden death.

The Seawolves (3-4, 1-0 CAA) let one slip against the Providence Friars (4-3) on Saturday afternoon at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Poor clearing and 22 turnovers prevented Stony Brook from winning in regulation, as it fell 13-12 in overtime to fall back under .500.

Providence came out of the gates firing, as it got back-to-back stops on defense and cashed in on both of them with goals from attackmen Luke Jabber and Rhett Chambers. With 10 and a half minutes left in the first quarter, attackman Dylan Pallonetti dodged himself open in the right alley and fired a laser into the back of net to get the Seawolves on the board.

However, the remainder of the opening period was all Friars, as they went on a 4-0 run. Providence attackman Richie Joseph sparked the spree by scoring right in goalkeeper Tommy Wilk’s face before midfielder Michael Chabra rifled a shot from 15 yards out. Midfielder Ryan Bell and attackman Jack Horrigan finished the outburst with consecutive unassisted goals to hand Stony Brook a 6-1 deficit going into the next frame.

After falling behind by five goals, head coach Anthony Gilardi calmed his players down, which changed the remainder of the game.

“I just told them to really lock in and take a deep breath,” Gilardi said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “We didn’t do anything we practiced. We just went out there and looked like we weren’t ready to play mentally and physically, which we weren’t.”

Then came the second quarter, where Pallonetti and attackman Nick Dupuis took it upon themselves to flip the game on its head. From the X, Dupuis wrapped around the cage and whipped one past goalkeeper James Corasaniti to snap the Friars’ scoring streak. Dupuis struck again six minutes later before assisting on a man-up goal from Pallonetti.

After playing selflessly for a moment, Dupuis went back to taking matters into his own hands and scored on another wraparound to complete a hat trick. With just 3:17 left in the first half, Dupuis scored his fourth goal of the second quarter to tie the game at six apiece. After faceoff specialist Chris Esposito won the ensuing faceoff, the ball found its way back into Dupuis’ hands at the X, where he found Pallonetti open for the Seawolves’ sixth consecutive goal.

Gilardi attributed their corresponding 6-0 run to a simplified approach.

“We just need to get back to the basics,” Gilardi said. “Nothing we did to get out of that hole was crazy.”

With just 1:27 remaining in the first half, Chabra tied the game at seven apiece with his second goal of the day.

In the third quarter, a pair of unfamiliar scorers — long stick midfielder Christian Lowd and midfielder Richie Dechiaro — found the back of the net for the first time this year for Stony Brook. However, Providence midfielder Chris Cusolito bagged two goals to keep it tied 9-9 heading into the final 15 minutes of regulation.

Just over a minute into the fourth quarter, the Seawolves set a couple of good picks to get Pallonetti wide open for a feed from Dupuis, setting up an easy goal. Two and a half minutes later, Dupuis found defensive midfielder Garrett Gibbons open in transition, who ripped one from deep off the right wing and went top shelf. With just 10:16 left in the period, midfielder Noah Armitage scored Stony Brook’s third-straight goal without help to make it 12-9.

The Seawolves’ defense held the Friars off the scoreboard for the next six minutes, but then a goal from Horrigan broke the drought. Another three and a half minutes passed by without any scoring until an unassisted effort from Joseph put Providence within one goal of Stony Brook with just 57 seconds left.

The Friars won the ensuing faceoff and saved themselves. Cusolito missed a potential game-tying shot, but Bell corralled the rebound behind the cage before diving across the crease and sneaking a shot into the top left corner with just nine seconds left.

The game went to overtime, where Cusolito took matters into his own hands, weaved his way through traffic and sniped one from the slot and under Wilk to walk it off.

The Seawolves’ clear game was uncharacteristically bad, as they only cleared on 14 of their 24 (58.3%) opportunities, something that Gilardi chalked up to a lack of poise.

Stony Brook also committed a season-high 22 turnovers, 12 of which were unforced. However, it won the battle on the ground 34-31 and came up victorious on 16 of the 28 (57.1%) faceoffs.

Esposito handled all faceoff duties for the Seawolves and also led them with six ground balls. Lowd and defender Mikey Sabella were tied for second on the team with four ground ball pickups each. Dupuis picked up three.

Sabella, Gibbons and defender Carson Forney all caused one turnover each.

On offense, Stony Brook was outshot 55-31 overall and 32-22 on goal.

Dupuis finished with a career-high nine points, scoring four goals and adding five assists. Pallonetti co-led the team with four goals. Armitage, Dechiaro, Gibbons and Lowd all scored one goal apiece. Attackman Justin Bonacci also found the scoresheet with an assist.

Wilk put forth a valiant effort, saving 19 of the 32 shots he faced for a .594 save percentage. Unfortunately for Wilk, his inexperience did show during some clear attempts where he coughed the ball up. He finished with three turnovers on the day.

“He played well,” Gilardi said. “He let up a couple that were really bad in the beginning which was frustrating, but I thought he did a really good job rebounding. I think in the clearing game he has to settle down a little bit, but he makes big stops and he definitely kept us in the game.” 

The upcoming schedule does not get easier for the Seawolves, as they will host the No. 18/20 University of North Carolina (UNC) Tar Heels at LaValle Stadium next Saturday. Opening faceoff is scheduled for noon. UNC is 4-2 this year after blowing out Hofstra 21-9 this past Saturday. The Tar Heels will face Wagner on Tuesday before their matchup with Stony Brook.

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